Sweet success for Sucrogen
AFTER seven months, two member votes and two creditors' meetings, sugar giants Sucrogen have finally purchased the Proserpine Sugar Mill.
A sale transaction for a headline price of $120million was completed on Friday afternoon after 93 per cent of creditors voted in favour of selling to Sucrogen at a meeting in Proserpine earlier that day. Sucrogen CEO Ian Glasson said the creditors' vote was a great outcome.
"The positive result means creditors will be paid, in full, before Christmas," Mr Glasson said.
He added that the capital return to members was a matter for the administrators, which would probably be finalised within the next four to six months.
"We're very keen to invest in and grow the mill and increase the amount of land under cane in the Proserpine area. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with local growers, Proserpine Sugar Mill employees and the whole Proserpine community," he said.
Rival bidders Tully-COFCO have accepted the creditors' decision and expressed sincere gratitude to growers who supported and shared their vision over recent months.
"The positive legacy from Tully's involvement resulted in an additional approximate $9million for Proserpine growers compared to the distribution they would have received under the original Sucrogen offer put to a meeting of members in August," Tully CEO John King said.
"The Proserpine industry and community can now put the difficulties of the past twelve months behind them and move ahead with some certainty."
Proserpine's chairman Lou Raiteri said Friday's sale was a relief.
"The biggest part of me is joyful but I've got a small piece of pain that I'll carry for a long time yet. Still, I'm very pleased we've got Sucrogen as the company that will take us forward now," he said. Mr Raiteri said he would be striving hard to rebuild broken bridges and address the casualties created within the community over the past few months.
"With the help of Sucrogen behind us we'll make this a vibrant and thriving sugar industry and community."
"We're very happy with the outcome. It's been a long drawn out process and we're very happy to see it come to an end." - Glenn Clarke
"I'd like to thank COFCO for coming to town. They put in a mighty effort and Proserpine growers should be grateful to them because now they will receive more money as a result. Tully are very lucky to have a board led by Dick Camilleri and John Amies." - Sue Biggs
"The pressure's off now and everyone can go into the Christmas holiday period without too much stress, both financially and emotionally and the town can start to get back on its feet." - Richard Dray
"Right from the start it was very sad to lose our mill. They say you've got to forget that and move on, but how can you just forget the mill when your family's been here for 100 years?" - Darcy Emmerson